“This meant Ted Williams’s head was now ready to be cut off”

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We’ve all heard about what happened to Ted Williams after he died. His son John-Henry Williams had his body transferred to the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Arizona where they froze his body in the hopes that, one day, medical science could reanimate The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived.

There has been controversy and litigation about all of that over the past decade. Now come some details in the form of a new biography of Williams entitled The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams,” by Ben Bradlee Jr., to be published tomorrow by Little, Brown and Co. Today the Boston Globe has an adapted excerpt from it. Specifically, the part about what happened to The Kid’s body in the hours after his death.

It also has some background on how Williams’ body found its way to Alcor. Specifically, on John-Henry Williams’ fascination with cryogenics cryonics. A fascination so great that it may very well have trumped his father’s specific wishes about what he wanted to have done with his remains after he died.

You can read this as an interesting set of anecdotes about Ted Williams. You can also read this as a somewhat unsettling glimpse at what waits in store for many people who approach death and depend on their families to take care of their final wishes.

But either way: it’s the best thing you’ll hear about a former .400 hitter being decapitated all day. I guarantee you that.

Tommy La Stella talks about his refusal to report to the minors in 2016

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In late July of 2016, Cubs infielder Tommy La Stella was demoted to Triple-A. It wasn’t personal. It was a roster crunch situation and La Stella had options left so, despite the fact that he had been an effective player to that point of the season, it made sense to send him down.

La Stella didn’t take the demotion well. In fact he refused to report to Iowa and went home to New Jersey instead. It was not until August 17 that he finally reported and then only after prolonged discussions with the Cubs and the assurance that he’d be back in the majors once rosters opened up. Which he was, after spending just over a week down on the farm.

Such a move by a player would, normally speaking, make him persona non-grata. His teammates would shun him and the organization would, eventually, cut bait, with the press characterizing him as a me-first player as he walked out the door. That did not happen with La Stella, however, who remains with the Cubs two years later and, by all accounts, is a popular and important guy in the Cubs’ clubhouse, even if he’s not one of the team’s big stars.

Today Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has an in-depth story about La Stella, what went down in 2016 and how he and the Cubs have proceeded since then. The story is subscription only, but the short version is that there was a lot of understanding and empathy on the part of the Cubs organization and their players about what was going on in La Stella’s head at the time and how everyone allowed everyone else the space to work through it.

I’m happy to read this story, because all too often we only hear about such incidents as they occur, with little followup. To the extent the story is told, most of the time its completely one-sided, with the player who acts out being treated like a bad seed with little if any explanation of his side of things. And, yes, there are always two sides to the story. Sometimes even more.

Kudos to Rosenthal for telling this story. Here’s hoping the next time a player is involved in a controversy that, in the moment, makes him appear to be a bad seed or have a bad attitude, we hear more about it then too.